Summer is a good excuse for contemplating the four-day workweek. Crews will work 10 hours instead of 8, but they'll still have some natural light when they get home. And with school kids on break and vacations in swing, “it's a nice morale booster for everyone,” says Donald Keney from Castle Renovations in Sterling, Va.

Keney's summer hours are 8 a.m. to roughly 6:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. He says that crews use their Fridays wisely and don't have to take time off work for personal business, such as medical appointments.

Clients like it too, Keney says. “It gives them an extra day without noise,” which fosters especially warm feelings among clients who telecommute or who have young children.

The Monday-through-Thursday week runs year-round at D/R Services Unlimited, Glenview, Ill. Owner Ron Cowgill started the policy a few years ago, when rising gas prices added pain to his employees' long commutes, which were especially dreadful on Fridays. Gas prices continued to climb, of course. “I think the guys would quit if we went back to a five-day week,” he says.

Caveats: Cowgill clears the “unorthodox” hours with clients in advance and had to tweak his crews a bit to adjust to the 10-hour days. “We make them eat lunch now,” he says, to keep up their energy.